Mining News

Education spotlight: Understanding the mining industry

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The dawn of a new commodity boom is on the horizon as base metals prices rally and miners are on a global quest for metals to fuel the shift into the green energy and electric vehicle era. Meanwhile, industry discourse surrounds the recognition that for full electrification the world is going to need to mine a lot more – and a lot smarter.

A new Edumine course: ‘What is Mining’ answers the questions anyone coming into (or back into) the industry has on how it operates and how to lay solid foundations for mining projects and then see them through to successful completion.

“There’s a lot more attention, a lot more drive to hire people, and people who are looking for investment. It’s for everyone who’s trying to understand the space better, and the space that has changed a lot in the last five or 10 years,” says Marc Borbas, Edumine’s VP, talent solutions.

“The emergence of ESG [means] thinking through those factors carefully. From all different dimensions it has been a really big change,” Borbas says.

“The industry is under scrutiny – people want to do things the right way.”

“The reason for this course is that we wanted to start at the very beginning for anybody who is taking a first, or second look at the industry – we are wanting to get them on the right rails in terms of what it looks like to be successful in the mining business today and what are some of the new pressures.”

“Anyone coming into the industry now has very different expectations about how they want to learn. It’s not just the industry that’s changed – it’s the people coming into it that have changed as well,” says Borbas.

What is Mining course author Sarah Gordon is a co-founder at risk management firm Satarla, and an exploration geologist specializing in coaching sustainable mining concepts at the corporate governance level.

Gordon also specializes in bridging the gap between mining companies and investors – especially in the ESG space.

Sarah Gordon. Image from Resolver.

“At the moment we have people realizing we are not going to hit any of their sustainability targets unless we speed up, in a responsible manner, how we take stuff out of the ground,” Gordon says.

“We are being asked, at the moment – by all kinds of people – What is Mining?

The course aims to answer that multi-pronged question. Here’s a sneak peak of the syllabus:

MDC: Who is this course designed for?

Gordon: It’s an introductory course either for a student that is considering a mining career, an investor or a government official that needs to be brought up to speed on trends we are seeing emerging at the moment.

The world needs carbon zero, but they’ve got no idea how to achieve it. The demand that has been created for raw materials that we need out of the ground, and none of those governments understand that all of the materials that go into the batteries, the wind turbines, need to come out of the ground.

Or it could be for [those] who have spent their entire life in exploration, and need to get your head around what happens to mine exploration projects when they go downstream.

MDC: Can you tell us about the curriculum?

Gordon: There are modules [on everything from] artisanal and small scale mining to large scale mining to how technology is changing, how mines are financed – and what talent is needed.

There is an introduction to how crucial to investors ESG is – or what the difference between a resource and a reserve is.

The curriculum is [focused on ] key terms – from artisanal to large scale. [And] what the continuum looks like.

MDC: How can the course help people understand the industry better?

Gordon: You need key things in mining – you need rock in the ground with the ability to get it out. You need permission to be able to get it out, and you need finance – and demand for what you are pulling out of the ground. If you are missing [any] one of those things you don’t have a mine.

The course will take you into the value chain from exploration to development phase – then closure.

We’re working through the full mining chain and bringing to the fore the horizons you don’t often see..from prospector to owner. From finance, circular economy, energy transition – stakeholders from regulators through to NGOs – it’s all in the data.

We look at not just the technical aspect – [but] the permissions, license to operate and financing and processing.

It only takes a few hours to get through it. If you’re a consultant working with a mining company and you need to get your head around mining and the key words very quickly – this course has all the bits and pieces you need.

We can’t get the materials we need in the circular economy – this course explains why not, and why/how we need to mine and explains what responsible mining looks like – not just now – but decades in the future if you have to understand: What is Mining.

Learn more about Edumine’s new course here.

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